2021 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon unveiled, with a V8 under the hood
For the first time in almost 40 years, a descendant from the Jeep CJ line-up finally gets a V8 engine. When you think of the Jeep Wrangler, you first think about its off-roading prowess. But what makes the Jeep Wrangler special is that it will take you to the most inaccessible places on the planet while keeping you comfortable and more importantly, it is also a great everyday drive. It is quite simply one of the best ‘best of both worlds’ package. Jeep has now officially unveiled a production version of the V8-powered Wrangler – the Wrangler Rubicon 392 based on the four-door Unlimited. Here’s what makes it the ultimate off-roader!
The Wrangler 392 takes its name from its engine capacity. The new Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 has a 463bhp 6.4-liter (which is 392 cubic inches) V8 engine with 637Nm of torque. The engine is paired to a eight-speed automatic transmission with drive going to all four wheels via the full-time four-wheel-drive system with a low range transfer case. As a first for the Jeep Wrangler, paddle shifters are now standard. Another first for the Wrangler is that the 392 now has a launch control as well! Jeep has even gone to the lengths of testing the new Wrangler’s acceleration in drag strips. As a result of this commitment to on-road performance, the Wrangler 392 does 0-100kmph in just 4.5 seconds. The Wrangler 392 will even do the standing quarter mile in thirteen seconds. However, no top speed figure was announced. To make this monstrous engine efficient for daily usability, the Wrangler 392 gets a cylinder deactivation system which automatically shuts down four cylinders when the engine is under low loads.
When you take it off-road, the 6.4-liter V-8’s torque and engine braking, combined with a 48:1 crawl ratio enables it to tackle steep slopes at very low speeds. Jeeps also claim that nearly 75 percent of the Wrangler Rubicon 392’s peak torque is available just above engine idle speed which should make it a very capable off-roader. When the Wrangler 392 is plowing through water, the Hydro-Guide air intake system can channel 56 litres of water per minute over the bonnet, allowing it to wade in water up to 825.5mm. A secondary air intake path helps the engine breathe if the functional hood scoop is covered in snow, mud or debris.
To make sure that everyone is treated to the sound of some good ol’ V8 rumble, it gets a new active dual-mode exhaust sound and quad tailpipes. As a cumulative result of all this, the new Wrangler is 40 percent faster than a V6 Wrangler Rubicon and the quickest, most powerful Wrangler Rubicon the company has ever produced.
Just like how the engine in the new Wrangler gives you good on-road and off-road drivability, it has received major upgrades with respect to the chassis. To make room for the bigger engine, the new V8 Wrangler now rides two inches higher on a Mopar lift kit. This increase in the ride height has improved the approach and departure angles making it more capable off-road. The approach and departure angles are now 44.5 degrees and 37.5 degrees respectively, while the breakover angle stands at 22.6 degrees.
To handle the extra torque, it gets a wide track Dana 44 heavy-duty axle in the front and rear with Tru-Lok electronic locking differentials, electronic front sway-bar disconnect and recalibrated ratios for the transfer case. It also gets an Off-road Plus mode with two settings; Sand and Rock. The Off-road Plus mode also allows the drivers to lock the rear axle at high speeds while in 4-High. It also comes equipped with new brakes and aluminium Fox Racing mono-tube shock absorbers to help improve handling. It gets 33-inch tires on 17-inch beadlock-capable wheels as standard.
Exterior and Interiors:
The Wrangler 392 comes with an array of changes with respect to the interiors and exteriors to distinguish it from the standard Rubicon. Apart from the lift-kit and bigger tires, it gets a functional bonnet scoop and revised grille, bronze detailing, a steel underfloor guard, a Warn winch, rock sliders and a 40mm raised bonnet. It will be available in nine colours; Black, Bright White, Firecracker Red, Billet Silver Metallic, Granite Crystal Metallic, Sting-Grey Metallic, Snazzberry Metallic, Sarge Green Metallic and Punk ‘n Metallic. All these colour options come with the bronze inserts and detailing.
As for the interiors, the 392 comes with leather upholstery as standard along with bronze stitching, as well as model specific readouts within the 8.4-inch UConnect touchscreen infotainment system, a Wrangler-first leather wrapped steering wheel and a separate gauge cluster for the engine. For those who crave for a more bare-bones and open feel in the Jeep, they can choose to get their Wrangler 392 with half-door option as well.
In addition to this, Jeep has teamed up with Mopar so that the buyer can now get a more personalised spec of the vehicle. Mopar accessories ranging from LED bars, a more hardcore Dana 44 Advantek front axle with gear ratios available up to 5.38, new off-road beadlock-capable wheels suitable for larger tires, tube doors, off-road bumpers, rock rails and more can be specified.
The Wrangler 392 is built to be good, on-road and off-road. The slew of changes underneath the skin combined with the subtle visual tweaks make it meaner and more intimidating. With America and the whole world talking about the upcoming all-new Ford Bronco over the last few months, the new V8 powered Wrangler has certainly stolen that spotlight. More importantly though, it has kept the V8 Jeep CJ’s legacy alive.